Carbon black refers to engineered carbon nanoparticles that are fused together to form unique 3-dimensional aggregates. Carbon black, in its pure form, is a fine black powder. It is produced by partial burning and pyrolysis of oil residues or natural gas at high temperatures under controlled process conditions. Carbon black is different from charcoal. Carbon black has a complex particulate structure that is formed in a gas phase produced from fully pyrolyzed hydrocarbons at high temperatures. Charcoal is produced by the pyrolysis of wood or other carbonaceous materials at lower temperatures and is in bulk or milled powder form. Due to their structural and morphological differences, they have distinctly different performances.
Carbon black is usually made from hydrocarbon oils, e.g., refined coal tar or heavy petroleum oil, or natural gas. Hydrocarbons derived from recycled tires, and biomass, e.g., wood, etc., are gaining increasing attention as sustainable sources of feedstock.
Carbon black is a vital component in making many of the products we use every day strong, appealing, durable and safe. Some of these solutions include tires, automotive weatherstrip and belts, plastic parts, coatings, inks and sealants. For example, tires without reinforcing carbon black would not run over 100 miles. As a pigment, carbon black offers desired color strength for applications ranging from electronic enclosures to automotive coatings, and household appliances. Carbon black imparts UV durability to rubber and plastic goods to ensure their service life for a few decades. As an electrically conductive additive, carbon black renders insulative rubber and plastic materials antistatic, electrodissipative or conductive to provide safety and protection, and thereby reliability for mining, electronic packaging, and wire and cable applications, to name a few.